Ellen G. White (1827–1915) is undoubtedly the most influential Seventh-day Adventist ever. Her prophetic guidance informed the formation and later development of the church. After her death on July 16, 1915, White’s writings continued to “provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction.”1 Today she is one of the most translated female writers in the entire history of literature and “the most translated American author of either gender.”2

We are approaching the centennial of her death, and many people are asking what the church is planning to do in 2015 in regards to her prophetic legacy. This article highlights a few endeavors at the global, regional, and local levels. All such efforts are aimed at strengthening our confidence in and commitment to God’s prophetic guidance in these last days of human history.

Next year’s activities will focus not so much on Ellen G. White herself, but on the blessings her writings have brought to our church corporately and to us individually for more than 100 years. In other words, the emphasis is more on the message than on the messenger.


Many significant publications, releases, and projects are being planned and developed for the benefit of the worldwide church. Already we have seen the publication of the 1,465- page The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia3 and the 986-page Ellen G. White Letters & Manuscripts with Annotations, Volume 1: 1845-1859. 4 Publications by Ellen G. White are now available online in more than 50 languages.5

The main Ellen G. White Estate Web site (www.ellenwhite. org) hosts the document “The Ellen G. White Estate Announces Plans for 2015 Centennial Commemoration of Ellen White’s Life and Ministry.”6 This document mentions, for example, the plan to publish online in 2015 all of Ellen White’s letters and manuscripts, as well as some of the most significant correspondence she received from other church members and leaders.

At the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, a special centennial commemoration program will take place on July 10, the last Friday evening of that assembly. Also, a major academic symposium on “The Gift of Prophecy in Scripture and History” will occur at Andrews University on October 15-18, 2015 with attendees from around the world.


Our church is an international denomination with a presence in more than 200 countries, each with its own needs and challenges. Sensitive to the condition of their own territories, several of the church’s organizational divisions, unions, and local conferences/missions are developing specific plans for 2015 to promote Ellen G. White’s writings more effectively within their local fields.

For a low price, some divisions are planning to distribute either the 10-volume “Connecting with Jesus“ set (see www. connectingwithjesus.org) or a new set of Ellen G. White’s books. Several fields are working with their respective publishing houses to translate and publish specific Ellen White titles not yet available in their own languages. In various places of the world, audio versions of her books are being made accessible for illiterate populations.

Many Adventist universities and colleges worldwide are planning special events for 2015. Those events may include academic symposiums, weeks of prayer, roundtable discussions, student contests, dramatizations, etc. Held in academic settings, such events aim to engage as many faculty members and students as possible. The main purpose is to strengthen the Adventist identity of the new generation.

A few divisions have decided to promote the establishment of Ellen G. White Mini-Centers at local Adventist schools and churches in their territories.7 Although most of Ellen G. White’s writings are now available online, the Mini-Centers can still provide an excellent opportunity for people to come together to study the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White and to research local Adventist history. As a result, those places will become centers of Adventist culture.


Several supportive strategies and plans for 2015 are being developed at various levels of the church’s organizational structure. But for them to become truly effective, they must have a positive impact on our local churches, our families, and our own lives. So, the crucial question is: What can be done at the local level to make 2015 a real blessing for all of us?

There are many things that local churches can do. For example, the preaching calendar could include some sermons and perhaps even a week of prayer based on the nature and purpose of the gift of prophecy. Youth programs could feature some dramatizations of specific aspects of Ellen G. White’s life and ministry. If the church has an active Ellen G. White Mini-Center, it could promote seminars on the Spirit of Prophecy, followed by round-table discussions.

Creative ideas can also be implemented within the home circle. I once met an Adventist couple who, after giving many toys and other presents to their children, decided to build a personal Ellen White library for each family member. At the evening family worships, they read and discussed together the content of a specific book, each person with his or her copy that could be marked. This would be a good model to follow in 2015!

Regardless of what will take place in our local churches and in our homes, we should develop a personal plan in 2015 for reading and studying the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White. Some may even decide to combine them into a single reading plan. Whatever the plan might be, we need

to set apart a daily devotional time. As somebody once said, “not to have time for God means to live a time-wasted life.”

In 2015, we should avoid the extremes of venerating Ellen G. White or simply ignoring her. We should always remember that her writings are not an end in themselves; rather, they are a valuable resource to bring us closer to Christ and the Scriptures.

1 Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 18th ed. (Silver Spring, MD: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2010), 162.

2 Arthur L. White, “Ellen G. White: A Brief Biography,” in www.whiteestate.org/about/egwbio.asp#who (accessed on June 13, 2014).

3 The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, eds. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013).

4 The Ellen G. White Letters & Manuscripts with Annotations, Volume 1: 1845-1859, Timothy L. Poirier, ed. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2014).

5 See www.egwwritings.org

6 See http://whiteestate.org/estate/2015plans.asp.

7 Details about the Ellen G. White Mini-Center Project are available at www.whiteestate.org.

Alberto R. Timm is an Associate Director of the Ellen G. White Estate.